This book is a moving account of one person’s survival during and following the Holocaust. I had the honour of proofreading it before publishing.
Born in Žilina, Slovakia in 1929, Freidin was brought up in a loving family and somehow managed to survive the Holocaust even managing to return home and then to school topping the class. She is bright and articulate. She has since lived in Israel but now considers Melbourne, Australia to be her home.
I found this book to be easier to read than other Holocaust titles, not just for the writing style but also the horror stories are slightly less horrific than others have written about. This one will haunt me less.
I’m writing this in no particular order as I’ve kept no notes and am going from memory. Freidin details how her family managed to stay together in the roof of a house while they were looked after, how they were found and how they coped at this time. She details when her mother became pregnant and had an abortion as they’d heard stories of how pregnant women were treated. While her mother was in hospital following complications the rest of the family were incarcerated with a 13 year old Freidin having to pack up everything they needed and then learn how to wash everything by hand as she’d never had to do anything like that before.
There is so much more here. Freidin’s mother was skilled at many things and even created forged documents in fake names to help protect them, drilling both Freidin and her brother in those details in order for them to escape the Nazis. These documents were never used. When they returned to their house after the war the house was in a dreadful condition and needed much cleaning and repair work before they could actually return and live there, the Nazis had occupied it and not treated it well.
I cried many tears while proofreading this book and then I added many kilos to my waistline reading the recipes at the end. Do I recommend this? Most certainly and absolutely, it is a valuable edition to the Holocaust stable of books and also to your memoir collection.